Aparna Piramal Raje - Profile
Aparna Piramal Raje is one of India’s most original thinkers on leadership, combining her lived experience with deep insights gathered from over 100 interviews with India’s most successful CEOs. Former CEO of BP Ergo, her family’s office furniture business, Aparna led a fast-growing business, before moving to writing and speaking.
She has demonstrated leadership through personal mastery in her inspiring twenty-year journey of learning to live and thrive with a serious mental health condition, bipolar disorder.
Her bestselling book, Chemical Khichdi: How I Hacked My Mental Health illustrates how personal mastery of one’s mind, intellect, and emotions can help individuals to live to their full potential, turning vulnerabilities into strengths and enabling greater resilience, empathy, and improving work performance. Her writing and talks have won accolades from global experts for their authenticity and courage.
As a columnist, Aparna has developed a unique perspective of business leaders, through the lens of workplaces and workstyles, in her popular column, Head Office in the Mint newspaper.
Her first book, Working Out of the Box: 40 stories of leading CEOs, is based on the column and presents close-up portraits of CEOs and the specific – yet often less visible – leadership traits that make them successful.
Aparna’s practical experience of running a business, overcoming a serious mental health condition, and acquiring insights through in-depth interviews with CEOs and founders have enabled her to develop a compelling framework of leadership in the workplace and beyond.
Aparna also believes in the power of creativity to solve organizational issues and is a thought leader in design. A visiting faculty member at the Anant National University in Ahmedabad, she teaches a module called ‘Netflix and the Art of Design Writing’. She has spoken extensively on leadership, business, design, and mental health in various forums, including at companies, business schools, and industry associations.
Recent clients include Bajaj Auto, HDFC Life, Abbott Healthcare, Mahindra & Mahindra, and the Indian Institute of Management, amongst others. She is a trained and enthusiastic LEGO® Serious Play® facilitator, which is an innovative problem-solving methodology for organizations, suited to varied business areas such as teamwork, communication, branding, innovation, diversity and inclusion, and more.
Aparna studied Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at Oxford University and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is committed to gender equity and has led several women’s networks.
How to Climb an Invisible Mount Everest: Leadership & Personal Mastery:
Personal mastery of oneself is an essential component of leadership. Yet we all have an invisible ‘Mount Everest’ that we often try and climb alone: our mind, with all its fears, anxieties, and vulnerabilities. Based on Aparna’s personal experience of living with a volatile mind, and her deep insights on interviews with leading CEOs, she shares how to develop essential leadership traits such as courage, resilience, emotional intelligence, authenticity, and more, to enhance one’s performance at work and beyond.
How Being Unwell Helped Me Live to My Full Potential :
A serious mental health condition is a setback for most individuals, yet Aparna has learned to thrive with being bipolar. This illuminating session describes how she turned a vulnerability into a strength, by sharing her story of the ‘five important defeats’ when dealing with any emotional, mental, or physical condition – challenges that affect us all, as individuals, family members, and allies, in our personal and professional lives.
What Makes A Woman Happy?
Who doesn’t want to be happier? But why is it so hard to come by? Is happiness in our hands or elsewhere? This talk focuses on women in particular and some of the universal factors that make us women unhappy – and happy. Without revealing too much, I would simply like to say that whenever I have given this talk, most women in the audience have come up to me afterward to say how much it resonated with them!
Think Like a CEO
We all know WHAT successful CEOs and business leaders do – their strategies, decisions, approaches to management. But HOW they do WHAT they do is less well-known. Based on over a decade’s research of interviewing CEOs, this talk presents insights into leadership lessons from some of India’s best-known CEOs and founders, in an interactive, original and entertaining way, through the lens of workplaces and workstyles.
The Jungle Gym Career
Technology, the pandemic, and a growing gig economy have fundamentally impacted the nature of modern work life. Careers are not one-way corporate ladders anymore, they are jungle gyms. Yet while we are taught from an early age to climb a ladder, nobody tells us how to navigate the ‘jungle gym’ life. This talk talks about how to make the most of modern work life, with its many transitions, in a practical, empowering, and effective way.
Aparna Piramal speaking Videos